Improperly Described Food on a Restaurant Menu

Last night we had dinner at a lovely little Italian place in Ridgefield, CT. The food was good, the services was caring, professional and good and the one person kitchen (chef/owner) got the food out in great time. But, and this was not an issue with the restaurant that would cause me to not go back, but dishes were described incorrectly. For example, a dish described as “grilled veal medalions, wild mushrooms” etc was really scallopine. And I was glad, as I am not a fan of tenderloins. That implies a thick cut of the meat to me. Another was the Margherita flatbread with fresh mozzarella. To me, fresh mozz are those pillows of cheese, not slices. I’ve seen similar things before at other places. What do you think? Is it an attempt at deception or just poor knowledge?

Most usually , I think it is just shoddy menu writing .

Only this week, we had something described as a “millefeuille” but was nothing of the sort. They seemed to have used the word to describe the dish as a filling between two layers of stuff - one layer only being pastry.

It peeves me slightly when restaurants do this wrongly using words that any skilled chef knows has a well understood culinary definition.

I think that’s what annoyed me - he should have known.

This drives me crazy. I have an allergy to chilis. I hate when things end up being spicy without notice.

I also hate when websites put pictures of dishes that aren’t on the menu. I see the picture and am interested but can’t even order it.


I suppose they could claim that medallion is defined by shape not thickness - it was a small round piece of meat, not a chop, rib, steak, shank.

Truly fresh mozzarella may be something you don’t find sliced, but in practice anything not aged and pressed into a brick for pizza is generally considered fresh mozz. The kind that comes in a tub, packed in water is what I’d expect.

Yes, but this was the brick kind - and it was obvious slices from that brick.

Low moisture mozzarella, the melty kind? If so, that’s false advertising unless they mean ‘fresh’ as ‘not expired’. I recall getting caprese on Long Island with that type of cheese, but it wasn’t advertised as fresh mozzarella

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Oh yeah that’s not fresh mozzarella! Makes you wonder what they’re thinking.

Yes, the melty kind, which I actually prefer on pizza. But, it makes you wonder why a chef would not know that.

I think the grilled veal medallions etc was the new way of describing the dish. For the few people who don’t know what Veal Scallopine is, the more precise way of listing ingredients is helpful. Same with Chicken Piccata, saying " white wine and capers" is more precise. Or Chicken Jerusalem–artichokes, wine, cream sauce. Lots of chefs are listing ingredients rather than old/traditional names to make the dish sound more modern, especially if they list the source of the ingredients i.e. naming the farms or dairies.

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I see your point, but medallions are usually thicker whereas scallopine is thin, so it would still be wrong!! :slight_smile:

Point taken but although scallopine is traditionally thinly pounded, I’ve been to some restaurants that don’t have the skill set (labor pool) or care enough to do it properly. Remember the scene in “American Hustle” where the mayor’s wife holds up the paper thin cut of veal? Noe everyone can get it that thin. It’s a matter of perspective. Sorry you were disappointed!

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I was just about to write a thread on this. Thanks for bring this up.

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I was not disappointed in the food, the food was good. I was just saying I was wondering about things being described incorrectly on a menu. Where are these restaurants you got to? If a restaurant doesn’t have the skills set to make food correctly, they should not be in business. Also, I’m not a fan of veal medallions so I did not order the veal. I will next time because it’s scallopini! :slight_smile:

Just back from a museum trip to NYC. Casual dining (read: I did not pay enough attention to HO posts) on the UWS. Used to be a lot of those sidewalk cafes were ok. Honest, at least.
“Rosemary Fries” came sprinkled w/parsley. Um? No taste or scent of rosemary. Server says "It’s in the salt. "
Next morning ‘gruyere’ omelet comes stuffed with a wad of tasteless mozzarella. Server claims “It’s gruyere but we can only buy pasteurized gruyere in America, that’s why it’s tasteless.” Ok!
That’s a lot of scamming in a two-block radius. Isn’t it?

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No, they weren’t. They’ve been overpriced and under-good since I became aware of them in the late 1980s.

I meant to say sorry you were disappointed in how the veal was described. As for menu descriptions, here are some links to 2 restaurants I have been to and 1 I expect to go to in the next few weeks:

I’m not saying I want to see menus like these, but it is becoming more common lately. Wayfare Tavern is in San Francisco, the other two are in San Mateo (all in the Bay Area).

That menu is very nice! I see your point but the menu I had was just badly written. Trying to hard maybe? The Ridgefield CT good scene is no where near the Bay Area food scene!

Well. 1990 - 1996 I ate restaurant food on the UWS for a week twice a month. I can’t remember anything really great but I don’t recall absolute blech.

Perhaps I am easier to please than you are?

This is a big peeve of mine. If you are going to have a major ingredient in your dish, you need to mention it in the description.

For example, a few years ago in Maui, we went to a nice restaurant for dinner. They had crab cakes on the menu as the featured appetizer. It was described something like “lump crab meat with an island style mango salsa”. That sounded good to me, so I ordered it. It showed up with this thick tomato sauce underneath the cakes. Not just a smear – a decent sized puddle. I was totally grossed out, because I don’t care for tomatoes and tomato sauces. If I had known it came with this sauce, I wouldn’t have even ordered it. When I pointed it out to the server (that it wasn’t stated in the description), he came back with “well, we can’t list every ingredient”. Um, if it’s a strongly flavored, major component, yes, you should!